Money Diary: An Unemployed 29-Year-Old In Glasgow On Universal Credit

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.
This week: "I’ve just returned home from living and working overseas where I had a great job, earning a salary of around £40k. I came home at the beginning of the pandemic and have been living with my parents and two sisters since. I had hoped I would get a job reasonably quickly and be able to move out and begin planting roots at home again but it hasn’t worked out that way. I definitely feel stripped of my financial freedom, which has had a massive impact on my mental health.
I grew up in a working class family where my mum has always been the main breadwinner. My dad had a bad injury at work around 10 years ago and had to stop working, which means they've been living off just my mum's paycheque ever since. I have memories of growing up in extreme poverty when I was very young but by the time I had a grasp of what money was, we were living a lot more comfortably. I never felt really deprived as a child though and we seemed to always get by. I really wish my parents had spoken to me more about money however. I think they were really set on hiding their financial worries from us so it was never really discussed. When I started earning my own money I was really foolish with it and it took a long time for me to get out of the habit of living paycheque to paycheque and borrowing just because I could."
Occupation: Unemployed
Industry: N/A
Age: 29
Location: Glasgow
Salary: £4,438.68 universal credit
Paycheque amount: £369.89
Pronoun: She
Number of housemates: I currently live with my parents and two younger sisters aged 20 and 17.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: I give my parents £50 a month towards living costs which isn't much but at least it's something.
Loan payments: £0. I have a lot of student debt but I don't need to start repaying that until I am earning over £19,390.
All other monthly expenses: £6 for a Microsoft Word subscription, Amazon Prime £8, Phone £35, Spotify £10 and I donate £5 a month to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (the irony of redistributing government money to a charity is not lost on me).

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